Doughty’s Studio Rail goes back to school
Wednesday, 23 March 2022
doughtyDoughty supplied perimeter Studio Rail around the edge of the space
UK - When Matt Strigden of SRD Projects was looking for a track solution for a new drama venue at Channing School in Highgate, North London, he turned to Doughty Engineering.
Having worked with the Doughty team for years, Strigden, who heads up the projects department at SRD, knew that they were the right team for the job. He said: “I know Doughty well - the people and the products. I have known sales managers, Dan Phillips and Laurence Dyer for nearly 20 years. Both are extremely helpful whenever I have a design question and are really good at providing the answers we need.”
SRD Projects works across all sorts of sectors; theatres, education, fitness, houses of worship and retail, providing lighting and audio solutions in these spaces and so regularly find themselves turning to Doughty for the right kit. This project at Channing School involved restoring one of the school halls - Founders Hall into a new performance space.
Strigden continues: “The hall had been converted into classrooms about 10 years ago and been used for numerous things including music, drama, PE etc and there was a lot of infrastructure in place that didn’t really work. We had conversations with the school over a period of 18 months to two years and were finally ready to start work when COVID hit, and everything got put on hold.”
The scope of the job was to turn the space into a drama and teaching space, designed so it could be split into two studios with concertina wall folds down the middle and connected to a Dante network so that musicians can play from Founders Hall and the audio feed streamed through to the theatre next door which lacks the space for an orchestra. Doughty supplied perimeter Studio Rail around the edge of the space, enveloping it to make it a more intimate venue and to improve acoustics. The school had previously used Studio Rail in its theatre space a few years previously to supplement the existing infrastructure and provide additional wing space in the theatre.
Strigden comments: “Studio Rail really is a go-to product for us. It’s easy to work with when installing it and when you hang anything on it - it hangs well. Because it’s an I beam design and the runners that sit on it are nice and chunky, it runs really smoothly. An all-round great piece of kit.”
The Founders Hall project was eventually rubber stamped and signed off in the middle of 2021, with a completion date of September in sight ahead of the reopening of the school for a new term. “This proved quite a challenge,” explains Strigden, “largely because in the current climate, suppliers are finding it hard to meet demand. However, Laurence Dyer provided excellent customer service as our main point of contact on the project and helped us to manage the customer’s expectations throughout the project, helping us to deliver everything to deadline.”

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